Minnesota lawmakers announce contraception legislation

by Benjamin Farniok

State lawmakers unveiled new legislation Tuesday that would protect the availability of contraception for women.

In a press release, Rep. Erin Murphy, DFL-Saint Paul, and Sen. Sandra Pappas, DFL-Saint Paul, introduced the Contraceptive Health Equity and Employee Rights Act, which would protect the availability of contraception for women through employer-insured healthcare.

The act would ensure that all FDA approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures and other contraceptive services are be covered by health insurance. Though the act exempts religious organizations from participating, they would still be required to disclose what types of health benefits are not covered and inform employees on how to obtain contraceptive coverage.

According to the release, the legislation was created in response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision made last year, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, which set a precedent for denying employer-insured contraception on religious grounds.

“This is an issue that affects Minnesotans to their core and they are paying attention. Minnesotans deserve to know we’re prepared to make women’s health a priority this session,” Murphy said in the release.